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Daughter Of A Pirate King

This was one funny book, especially with how Alosa was both hilarious and at the same time utterly brutal. Well, she is like a pirate with a really good sense of humor. And she doesn’t shame them either, she doesn’t shy away from having brutal fights or killing. Or even resorting to underhanded means to survive.

Even though there are many places where it could have been better but there was one thing certain I really liked how Alosa doesn’t try to think of herself as a man or even a woman. Just a pirate King who loves her father, and uses any methods necessary to finish her task. Exactly like a pirate. 

Alosa is enjoyable because of that. And also because despite her father having a lot of children, yet choosing her to claim, there is a good reason why she was chosen. And a good way to insert magic, and to even suggest about her father’s personality. Even if I would doubt it a little, but for me it is certain that it would become very important in the subsequent books. 

I do like how Alosa isn’t able to see certain betrayals coming, and that even for something as important as retrieving a map leading to precious treasure, her father treats her as a capable person and that eventually translates to a plot twist of its own. 

Though, I would have preferred Alosa to have resorted to it faster. And not just be seen walking around the deck and enjoying being captive. Even though she does constantly think of various ways to do it, and various ways to get the map. And when she does make her move, a hell of a ride ensues. And well, I could see her skill and her talents as a pirate. That she wasn’t just only telling us that she was a pirate, she had also been trained in the skill too. And wasn’t someone who tried to rationalize her profession or make it less grim about how pirates treat women. Though I did like the use of a female crew, even though they don’t really have much appearance. But I do want them to have a larger role in the later book. 

I really enjoyed how this book was handled in terms of plot an execution and how Alosa was portrayed as a pirate. She is one except that she also has a sense of humor and isn’t afraid to resort to seducing men to get her way. So, I would recommend this to ya readers who long for a pirate who acts and even thinks like one and isn’t simply a really whitewashed version of them. And also ya readers who really want to see a good female main character, who isn’t too affected by romance and even despite that would still put her goal first in front of romance. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Mistwood

Well, this was an unexpectedly good book. I liked Isabel from the very beginning and the mystery behind her past, revealing it to be even more than what she expected herself to be too. 

As for the two princes, both sides have their own story. And arguably, Rokan is a far better choice than Kaer. He has enough common sense not to think that the throne should be his, and acknowledged both sides of it. That his father had done what he could to maintain the kingdom, and despite usurping the throne, his father kept power within them. 

I think that Isabel doesn’t have much of a personality, and is quite a blank slate. Except that she develops eventually, and thinks deeper about the two princes. Despite being the shifter, she isn’t just magic, she has a lot to discover about herself. And I really like the ending when it revealed who she was and what she was. It was an unexpected and good twist there. 

As for the court politics, that is something that I deeply enjoyed here. Seeing that Rokan had to face a lot of pressure, revolts from both sides. And how the court is handled, with the different parts having completely different situation. I really liked political intrigue and how it helped form the magic here, and the sorcerers too. 

As for Clarisse, who is pretty different from Isabel in her own way. Isn’t her friend but neither is her enemy, she is a really good character to this dynamic. Whether she intends to betray her own brother or to save him, or to help him towards the end. And mostly, at the beginning when she was wary yet capable of trusting Isabel. That is an interesting character, and also impacted Isabel quite a bit. 

Most importantly, the plot is good, slowly moving but eventually revealing countless twists and secrets. Whether is it about the past, or how the shifter had disappeared. It was handled very well, and also the last addition where it revealed about what Isabel actually was, had been a very nice mix. 

Overall, I would recommend this to those who want a good high fantasy set in medieval times. This is one filled with twists that you would not expect and also a lot of court intrigue too, and with a tinge of magic but enough for typical fantasy readers. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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The Assasin’s Curse 

I have no words for this book. It is one of the most perfect books I have read, and hopefully breaks my bad book streak I have been on recently where I hated so many books for the entire month. And well, where to begin? I think I would start with the characters. 

Anana is a complete badass, and well a really convincing pirate. She’s convincing as she steals, cheats and lies. And well, she is a badass in how she deals with things. She escapes from her marriage, except that she brings common sense with her. And that she tries to sell her dress the moment she finds it, and constantly is thinking of how to survive. 

And well, this girl basically saved the assassin and then ends up being protected by him, yet most of the time they are alive due to her. Most importantly, when it’s necessary she knows that she needs to kill and she won’t hesitate. That was what I expected of pirate. 

Naji, had revived my faith in assassins in books. So far, I only read about so many plain horrible assassins. Especially the previous book. Sure, he’s not the most dependable here, but at least he isn’t a self-righteous hypocrite. He simply trusts his heart sometimes and has his own back story. And well, he can take care of himself. 

So, this duo who were cursed and eventually forced to be together. They were believable, Anana with her knowledge of the seas and being a pirate. And Naji as an assassin. They didn’t feel like a whitewashed version of the usual pirates and assassins, who believe what they do is right.

Ultimately, to me the characters carried the story the whole way. The only complain I have is how only the three tasks were revealed at the end of the day, and that it could have also served to further their relationship. The world here to me was developed enough to pass it as a decent world building. 

So, I would recommend this to those who think that Anana and Naji are great characters. And well, if you don’t I think you should just give it a pass. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Assasin’s Heart 

The biggest issue I had with this book, is that Lea isn’t an assassin. I mean, she gets poisoned in the first chapter, and it gets downhill from there. 

I was fine with seeing Lea becoming angry, and even difficult. I mean, she just lost her entire family. Revenge was understandable particularly when she was raised to be an assasin and everything. It was expected and her reaction, was realistic given her background. 

But it was from after there did it become really really boring. It failed to grab my attention in the way I wanted it too, such as Lea struggling to survive. I wanted her to be a little more independent, and resourceful. She is an assassin after all. But I didn’t get it. 

All I really got was a lot of romance. And a lot of going around, and failing to really do anything. She meets Les, then falls in love with him. And well, the way he forgot Val could be understood. I mean, this guy may as well helped go slaughter your entire family.  I probably wouldn’t even want to think about marrying the guy. 

But I expected Lea to be smarter. You know what, she could have taken that chance to enter the Da Vias and become the assassin which she was supposed to be. I mean, if they are killing people, it makes morals a little less good here. And well, going inside gives her the chance to enter the Da Vias and you know infiltrate and plan everything from within. It would save her a lot of time, and well make her plans a lot more successful.  

Lea doesn’t need all of that, and well when Marcello says that she will die, I believed that given how incompetent an assassin she was, he was right. The first thing as an assassin was Knowing when she could strike, and well, she should have spent time with her father before, just finding for the right time to strike. 

It’s common sense. I mean, Lea takes the honorable way out and decided to reject it. Could she be any more stupid an assassin. I expected a little more intellect and ruthlessness when it comes to this, and expected her to just be willing to scheme and spy. 

This just doesn’t make up an assassin. I expected grey morals, not righteousness and the more ridiculous part was why were they even renamed as clippers. It just doesn’t make them sound any more threatening. And the way that they believe that by killing them, they are sending them on their next life. 

I mean, if that was their rationalization, it was okay. But it makes their killing justified. And I’m really like: what? It just makes the entire job an upright profession, not one which Lea has to constantly battle herself with. But makes it seem as though there is really nothing for her to hesitate by jumping into this life. 

Perhaps the most difficult part was that during the time Lea died and she met the goddess. I was expecting her to be a lot less kinder, and a lot more different. She certainly didn’t seem so, and was a benevolent goddess rather than one who basically became the goddess who worshipped them. 

This wasn’t a grey book, the assassin was thrown in there to sound cool, the same thing happened for clipper. It was meant to make then less menacing and less immoral. Not given the assasin their true nature and name. 

I admit that most of the book I didn’t really read much, at about a certain point I began to skim it and the ending. Nothing felt complete even after reading the ending. To me, Lea wasn’t even a good assasin. And the villain, just one hell of a lunatic. They were either against her or with her. 

There was no in between. So, this book really failed to make me think about it. The story was boring, the characters mostly dull and quite moronic with the way Lea acted as an assassin, and she still calls herself a clipper. When I think that it was lucky that she even survived for so long. 

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

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Bright Smoke, Cold Fire


Clearly not what I expected, and quite underwhelming. After two great books from this author, this was meh. I didn’t have that melodramatic atmosphere which I lawyer experienced with her books, and the romance itself was quite intriguing. 

I do admit that it is more interesting with how she took Romeo and Juliet and spinned together such a tale of necromancers, clans fighting for power in the only living city in the world. 

To me, Runajo, had been a rather interesting character. Juliet barely had any personality in my opnion, but I could see why she loved Romeo above all else. Let’s face it, he’s the only decent guy among her many kinsmen, and they are not the brightest either. 

Paris, he was okay. Though he not being in love with Juliet was what I got here, and well I understand too. It is much less of the tragic romance, but more of the dark magic and reality it is. Runajo, had been what made me interested, she had been what really carried the story really.

Romeo, and Paris didn’t interest me as much, but Runajo had the most development, even more than Juliet, who frankly is a flat character and shape little nuances. Runajo despite trying to make herself ruthless, has a heart deep beneath which interested me quite a not in her character. And her chapters, had been the most exciting for me. 

Although, I do admit that it was quite a letdown on my part. But there are still points where I believe is a step away from her usual melodrama and romance, and creating something else here which do have much for improvement but also some enjoyable characters and scenes. 

So, I would think that you should read this with a fresh mind. I was disappointed but also liked some characters at the same time, and for once this wouldn’t end like most, with a sequel to come, which I would still look forward to. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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The Sin Eater’s Daughter


Finally, a book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Never did I think from the beginning that this was what awaited me, within the book itself had been so different from the title. It represents so little of Twylla’s identity get represented her perfectly at the end. 

I really like this book because of just how conflicted the main character is, she had been taught to believe that she could kill. With so much proof of her abilities, that even I was convinced. Except until the lie, and everything from there was a different sort of story. One which I greatly enjoyed. 

The plot here gives us so much, such as her not having any poison at all(quite expected) but its reveal earlier than I thought, only to find a whole new conspiracy behind it, and why Twylla became Daunen Embodied. 

So much was really well explained, and hinted earlier upon on. And the villain has such a major presence, and we know that she is the main villain of the book from the start with enough development to be interesting really. She is cruel, but a person who knew how to eventually get back the support of her people. She is politically smart, and merely a cruel vicious woman. Nothing else really. 

As for the live triangle, I didn’t hate it. Both Merek and Lief had their own issues, even I didn’t expect what Lief was revealed to be in the end. As for Merek, he was far more than just a typical prince, either too idealistic. But he seems well aware what kind of mother he has, and the lengths she is willing to go to. And in the end, wherever she went was deserving of her, and her end was something fitting to her. 

As for the actual plot, it was a rather twisty ride, even more so than my usual. It had been different and never let me down, apart from being sin eater, to Daunen Embodied to eventually realise her life had been a lie, and another had been nothing more than a liar. I really enjoyed this, it had been a book which I was waiting for for quite some time. Had been on a really bad book streak for a while. 

Overall, I read enjoyed this book and where it headed. It most definitely was not to my expectations and I recommend this to those who really hopes for something different.

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Ruined


I should have known from the moment I had read the blurb, it was quite a disaster, though better than the Selection in some ways. But completely lost my interest for most of the book. 

The only thing that relatively interested me had been some moments of interesting conversations and how aware they are. Their parents were all indeed horrible people, and they have enough common sense to see it. 

But other than that, it didn’t hook me at all. It felt pointless to me actually, the ruined doesn’t feel dangerous. They are mostly messing with people’s mind except in the worst way possible. However, just killing a bunch of innocent people doesn’t really justify it in the least. 

But having them fall in love, it has made it impossible for me to like them. It was mostly setting up the book, the most interesting thing happened halfway where I couldn’t even be bothered to read most of it. And the queen did have potential, and the king to have moments where they could have some moments of cruelty and ruthlessness. They could also have some moments where their minds would have rationalized it, why they have done so. 

I would have also wanted a lot more on Em’s thoughts. About her struggle to understand why it needed to be so, how the ruined themselves had also done wrong. To me, here in actual reality the ruined aren’t perfect nor blameless, but neither the king is right either. There are far better ways than massacring them. 

But unfortunately all of it went to building the romance between them. Not entirely wrong, but clearly not the best way to go. I wanted a lot more on the politics, the motives as this is fantasy. I only managed to get a really shallow view of the villains here, Em, Cas, and all the characters. And really, it was a good plan in the beginning before it went downhill later on where it just dragged for so long that I could barely even continue. 

So, my issues was how the middle was handled and the ending where it completely bored me to the end. The main characters were actually decent, the villains could have been developed more. And really, it still felt better than the Selection. 

Rating: 2 out of 5